February 2013 Chancellor's Report

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Welcome to the February 2013 issue of the Chancellor’s Report, a monthly newsletter designed to highlight important information, updates and changes that affect students, faculty and staff at UW-Platteville. The newsletter includes information from a wide variety of university departments, including the office of the chancellor, administrative services, prospective students and admission, student affairs, advancement, office of diversity and inclusion and athletics.

Office of the Chancellor

On Jan. 15, Governor Scott Walker delivered the 2013 State of the State Address. In his address, he laid out five priorities for the next two years, including creating jobs, developing the workforce, transforming education, reforming government and investing in infrastructure. He stated that surveys and reports from employers throughout the state showed a need for skilled workers in key career clusters and indicated that one of the things he will be stressing is training people for the workforce.

As you know, producing a skilled workforce that meets the needs of employers is something that UW-Platteville has been doing for almost 150 years. And we are successful at it, as evidenced by the many employers who contact us, interested in hiring our graduates.

I am impressed with how faculty members look at innovative ways to teach students while also listening to the input of community leaders in business and industry to ensure that the content of our academic programming is meeting the needs of employers. We must continue striving to form closer connections with business and industry, especially in southwestern Wisconsin and the tri-states area.

The governor also spoke about the creation of new businesses here in Wisconsin. The university has a long history of commitment to entrepreneurship and we are confident that our recently launched entrepreneurship minor will be a catalyst on campus and in the region for building the capacity for social, cultural and economic creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

In his address, the governor mentioned how the UW System is working on a new flexible degree program to help adults earn degrees in targeted fields. This is something that UW-Platteville has been doing for a long time. For 35 years, UW-Platteville’s Distance Education programs and services have met the needs of students who want to complete a degree but find it difficult to do so in a traditional classroom setting because of work and/or family obligations.

Another point the governor discussed was his desire to continue to improve education, particularly in reading. Again, this is something that we have always been actively engaged in, as evidenced by the successful Campus Read program launched this past fall. The university recently announced its 2013 Campus Read book, Scoreboard, Baby, a story of college football, crime and complicity. I encourage you to participate in this campus- and community-wide reading activity.

As we move forward in this new spring semester, it is important for me to note that the university’s success would not be possible without your continued dedication to the university and its mission. Thank you for all that you do.

And finally, congratulations to all of the faculty and staff who have contributed to the growth and excellence of UW-Platteville Distance Education by providing rigorous programs, flexible completion schedules and service to non-traditional students for 35 years. I commend you for your hard work and dedication.

Website Transition Project

The seven pilot programs in the Website Transition Project were approved to move forward at the Jan. 24 committee meeting. A 14-member campus committee is working on the entire redesign and re-navigation of the current website.

The pilot programs are:

During the last two weeks, web committee members have been reviewing the processes and gathering feedback from those who put the pages together to gauge the effectiveness and ease of the Drupal operating system. In the next few weeks, the communication subcommittee will be surveying students, faculty, staff, prospective students and parents about specifics of the new site.

While feedback is being gathered on the established pilot programs, phase two of designing a new homepage and hub landing pages has begun. The goal for launching the homepage is around spring break.

Administrative Services

UW-Platteville Opens Office of Sustainability

This November, UW-Platteville joined a UW System-wide sustainability effort with the hiring of our first sustainability coordinator, Amy Seeboth. Amy is managing the new campus shuttle service, helping roll out single-bin recycling on campus and kicking off our eight week, campus-wide recycling competition, Recyclemania, from Feb. 3-March 30. This spring, she will also assist in writing the university’s first sustainability plan. For more information on these and other sustainability initiatives, visit www.uwplatt.edu/sustainability

Prospective Students and Admission

Admission and Enrollment Services Update      

The admission office successfully completed the first fall where self-service was available to all students. Students have immediate access to their remaining application items and can view their information 24 hours per day, seven days per week. This has helped streamline processes and increase communication with students and parents.

In addition, the admission office has received over 3,400 new freshmen applications and 260 transfer student applications for fall 2013. It has processed over 900 Tri-State Initiative applications, an increase of about seven percent over last year at this time.

Prospective Student Services

There will be many visitors on campus this spring for specialty visits and Pioneer Previews. We encourage everyone to welcome them with a smile and hello. Prospective Student Services continues to follow-up with prospective students by email, phone and other social media efforts. In addition, it is processing over 190 applications for the Chancellor’s Scholarship awards. Watch for the new web site that will soon be launched.

Financial Aid Office

The Financial Aid Office welcomed a new director, Tracey Mingo, in January. The financial aid team will be developing and evaluating new strategies to communicate more effectively with students and families about awards, notifications, award availability and work study usage. The scholarship review committees will also be working diligently on over 1,540 new freshman scholarship applications that have already been received.

Student Affairs

New interim dean of students

Sherry Nevins has been named the interim dean of students. Sherry has been with UW-Platteville since 1999, when she joined the university as the assistant director of student housing. In July 2011, she became the interim associate director of Residence Life. As dean of students, she serves as the chief disciplinary officer for student academic and behavioral misconduct as well as a liaison between the student body and faculty and staff regarding student concerns. She also provides support for a variety of student concerns including those related to illness, academics or other personal emergencies. In addition, she serves as a resource for faculty and staff who have questions or concerns about student-related matters.

Dr. Joanne Wilson, interim assistant chancellor of student affairs, says, “I am truly pleased that Sherry agreed to take the interim dean of students position. Her professional experience in the residence life department made her the perfect choice. Moving into the position during the middle of a semester was not an easy task, but Sherry made the transition seamlessly.”

Residence Life

Residence Life will host three living learning communities in the residence halls next year. Two of them will support women in the STEM programs, with one being a continuation of the first year STEM community, currently housed in Wilgus Hall. The other community, located in Dobson Hall, will target new women to UW-Platteville who are interested in STEM programs. In addition, in collaboration with the Education Abroad office, a Global Learning community is being established. The Global Lens Living and Learning Community seeks to foster the development of a supportive community of students, faculty and staff who are dedicated to promoting and engaging in opportunities that nurture greater global understanding.

In addition, two residence halls will focus their program efforts on special interests of students. Pickard Hall will host the First Year Experience Interest Community, designed to assist the freshmen transition from high school to college, both academically and socially. Bridgeway Commons, set to open in fall 2013, will be home to the Healthy Living Interest Community, designed for any student who would like to develop and practice healthy habits within the residence halls in support of their overall personal wellness.

Advancement

Real Estate Foundation

Rountree Commons

Students living in Rountree Commons have had very positive reactions. The Real Estate Foundation was able to secure long-term financing for this project and has used savings to provide a wireless system enhancement that allows full, high-speed access throughout the building. Sometime this spring, new recreational activities requested by the students and a new outdoor bike rack will be available for students.

Bridgeway Commons and Dining Facility

In June, the Real Estate Foundation was given the authority to begin construction of a second project, Bridgeway Commons, due to be completed in Aug. 2013. The schedule for this second project will be even more aggressive than the first and provide a new, main dining facility as well as 440 new residence hall beds. Located next to Southwest Hall, Rountree Commons will provide additional residence hall-style living options for our students, offering two, double occupancy bedrooms adjoined by a bath that will serve the four students residing in the semi-suite.

The lower level of Bridgeway Commons will provide a variety of dining options for students, faculty and staff. This modern dining facility will serve as the main campus dining area and have the capacity to serve as many as 1,500 customers per meal. Meals will be freshly prepared at several different cooking stations and offer several different dining options including gluten-free meals.

Construction has been steady and the building is nearly enclosed. We hope for favorable conditions that will allow construction to stay on schedule. The Real Estate Foundation is committed to ensure the building is ready for occupancy in August. The building will be owned by the state and operated by the university, like the other halls located on campus. By providing new options and updating our existing buildings, students will have a variety of choices and price ranges to meet their needs, allowing them to spend more of their college experience on campus, resulting in improved retention and graduation rates.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

New director in Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

Angela Miller has been named director in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. In this position, she is responsible for providing leadership for the OMSA, which has oversight for the counseling and support of underrepresented minority students on campus. Prior to accepting this position, she served as interim director of OMSA at UW-Platteville, the college scholar advisor for the PEOPLE program at UW-Madison and the program assistant for the minority student achievement network at the UW-Madison WI Center for Education Research. Dr. Jennifer deCoste, UW-Platteville’s assistance chancellor and chief diversity officer, states, “Angela brings a proven track record of success in multicultural student affairs, which will be invaluable in meeting departmental goals and objectives.”

Confucius Institute at UW-Platteville

The UW-Platteville Confucius Institute, established in 2008, is part of an international network of over 600 Confucius Institutes worldwide dedicated to enhancing the understanding of the Chinese language and culture around the world. It is the only Confucius Institute in Wisconsin. The Confucius Institute provides resources, services, Chinese New Year events, holiday celebrations, intensive Mandarin training for short study or tours in China as well as classes in Mandarin. Please check out www.uwplatt.edu/confucius or http://uwplatt.collegiatelink.net/organization/confuciusinstitute or Facebook at www.facebook.com/UWPlattevilleConfuciusInstitute

Please call Mei Reeder at 608.342.6014 or email reedery@uwplatt.edu if you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding Chinese culture, scholarship, Sino-study, on campus presentations, history and Mandarin classes.

Fifth Annual Chinese New Year/Spring Festival Celebration

Sponsored by the Confucius Institute, UW-Platteville faculty, staff, students, and families from communities across southwest Wisconsin and the tri-state region attended the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival Celebration on Feb. 3 at Velzy Commons, Ullsvik Hall. Each year since 2009, over 500 people have attended this event to celebrate this special time of year and exchange good wishes for wealth, happiness and good fortune. Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association’s Lion Dance Troupe from Madison, Wisconsin performed at the event, which is designed to provide a global connection at a time when Chinese New Year festivities are being celebrated in Asian and Western countries all around the world.

Athletics

The men’s basketball team is having another great season this year and is in contention for a home game in the WIAC tournament. Junior center Chas Cross was named WIAC Player of the Week three out of four weeks in the month of January. The Winnebago, IL, native became the fifth person to earn the award in consecutive weeks and the second player in WIAC history to take the honor in three out of four weeks. He also joins the company of UW-Platteville Hall of Famer Steve Showalter as the only Pioneers to garner player of the week three times in a season. The six-foot-eight center heated up in the month of January and is averaging 19.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.3 steals per contest for the month and now leads the conference with 15.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game this season.

Spring Career Fair ~ Feb. 12 and 14

We hope that you will stop by our spring career fair on Feb. 12 for the College of BILSA and the College of LAE and on Feb. 14 for the College of EMS. In addition to networking opportunities for students and alumni, employers find it extremely beneficial to meet with faculty members who attend the fair. UW-Platteville is unique in respect to the number of faculty who attend our fair events to answer employers’ questions regarding curriculum as well as senior design project ideas and other industry-university partnership opportunities.

Remember to make every day a great day to be a Pioneer!

(Information compiled by Laurie Hamer, hamerl@uwplatt.edu)

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